Quicksilva Newsletter

February 2009

Welcome to Quicksilva's monthly newsletter with thoughts from Quicksilva staff.

It is amazing to watch the twist and turns (and wriggles) as the mainstays of the establishment are found to be rotten to the core. I feel like I'm watching a series of stones being lifted to reveal just how gruesome things have become. It all started with the banks and the credit crunch but just today we have the following:

...and to me the whole process seems to be speeding up and spreading. Naivety on my part?

I could never understand the kids at school who cheated – it seemed to me like it was more trouble, worry and effort to connive than it was to just do the work in the first place – but then maybe I was just a swot. It's the same with the people we are now seeing uncovered. Surely they would have slept better at night without worrying when they were going to be called to account? Although I can see a direct correlation between actions taken and the potential cash rewards, what motivation is there for just doing a poor job? I hope the changes people are now demanding sweep through business like a breath of fresh air.

Gayna

One size doesn't fit all when it comes to Compliance  

One size doesn't fit all when it comes to Compliance

Getting through the compliance process can be a real headache. It is a cumbersome and onerous process, which involves negotiating a myriad of complex systems as well as the requirements of Connecting for Health (CFH). The end result is that after 18 months of trying, even some of the largest companies don't truly understand what is involved and, still no further forward, are left scratching their heads.

To help address this frustration, Quicksilva launched Compliance-in-a-Box® and the good news is that it does exactly what it says on the tin. Primary Care Trusts, suppliers, GPs, pharmacies and social care and soon pathology, must all go through the compliance process and each will have different requirements for their unique systems. For example, some organisations will have an in-house software team, which means they simply need guidance on the end part of the process and others who don't have an in-house IT support function will need advice from start to finish. Luckily Compliance-in-a- Box® is an agile solution that flexes to meet an organisations’ specific requirements

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The Quicksivla beat  

The Quicksilva beat

Software development is often regarded as a very creative occupation and with Quicksilva it doesn’t stop there… this creativity flows through work and into music! Quicksilva have a tremendous mix of talented musicians ranging from pianists, to drummers, guitarists and bassoonists!  

‘Jam’ sessions are a regular occurrence, providing a perfect outlet for writing and performing music as well as a great social side which is key to Quicksilva’s work hard, play hard culture.  Outside work, most of these musicians are also involved in public performances, whether it be playing solo, or gigging with a band.

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Making a point of sharing  

Making a point of sharing

Quicksilva's Sharepoint Consultancy - growing its portal building skills

Quicksilva is currently seeing steady growth in the demand for its Sharepoint skills. Having recently completed portals for the English National Screening Programme for Diabetic Retinopathy and also the National Institute for Health Research, Quicksilva has proven expertise. However, although we are embarking on new projects, many organisations have yet to discover the commercial advantages of migrating to Sharepoint.

We are converts, using SharePoint within the company to manage diverse business processes and workflows from Tracking New Business Opportunities to HR activities such as the New Starter Checklist and find that the SharePoint framework:

  • Cuts down on the number of documents which are emailed around teams
  • Allows for collaboration on the drafting, reviewing and approvals of documents
  • Can be developed to fit with Quicksilva’s corporate livery
  • Allows for the sharing of work items with external customers over the web
  • Integrate with our existing security architecture removing the need for yet another password
  • Enables content management of online information such as our intranet and Quality Management System

These are just some of the advantages that we are finding enable us to drive value for the company from SharePoint usage.

Read more

In the News...

In the News
knee surgery using robot  

Biomedical engineers 'Arm' surgeons for highly precise knee resurfacing with robot

From Science Daily

Biomedical engineers developed a robotic arm to very precisely resurface the knee before replacing it. In order to do this, a 3-D image of the knee is generated, providing a live-action view of the knee during surgery. A stereo camera system constantly updates surgeons on the location of the diseased portion of the knee--this keeps the healthy parts untouched. Visual alarms and artificial resistance tell the surgeons when they are too close to healthy parts. After the resurfacing is done, the implant is placed.

Quicksilva thoughts...

Robots in the surgery theatre. Good news if you have knee osteoarthritis.

The future has arrived for knee osteoarthritis treatment allowing you to limp into the hospital for your knee surgery, get your implants implanted, and walk out again… in the same day.

In much the same way as a machine can engrave a design once programmed, a robotic arm has been developed that augments the handiwork of the surgeon, by preventing any accidental damage being applied to the precious healthy knee structure, and restricts the drilling and resurfacing to the unhealthy area only.

With sight correction laser procedures already common in our health sphere, this is another example of how mans’ biological quality of life is being enhanced by direct machine involvement which relies on computing processes.

With bionics already science fact and improving all the while, and the invention of this robotic surgical arm, could some version of the Star Trek: Voyager doctor, the Emergency Medical Hologram (EMH), become science fact quicker than we imagine?

Read story

Government sites hit by hackers  

Government sites hit by hackers

From Times Online

Thousands of government, NHS, school and police websites have been doctored to include links to pornography, viruses and other inappropriate material.

Quicksilva thoughts...

Nearly three-quarters of the top 100 sites on the web host malicious code or redirect users to malicious sites, according to new research from content security provider Websense.

If browsing a government website and a link reveals a man and woman doing not very parliamentary things, then this site has certainly been link-spammed. Spammers are becoming more intelligent in manipulating the content we view on the internet, though the process relies on phishing for information and users lack of awareness. As demonstrated by a skin cancer charity campaign offering software upgrades allowing PC monitors to tan you, if there is a link, we will follow it.

It's usually easy to spot spam, especially when a nice Nigerian chap offers you £500,000 in unclaimed African tax money. However if a government website that has been maliciously hacked, forwarded you to a page appearing to be the Inland Revenue where the taxman requests your banking details in order to deposit your rebate, you are far more likely to proceed.

Always use different passwords for online access, sounds simple but can be overlooked when trying to remember those different $,?,@, characters used to spell your mums first pet’s favourite film.

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Cybersecurity review  

Obama begins cybersecurity review

From BBC News

A review of how well the US thwarts spies and malicious hackers has been started by President Barack Obama.

Quicksilva thoughts...

The safety of electronic data has been a hot topic over the last few months and it seems the inauguration of a new U.S. president has managed to contribute to the debate.

I am astonished that with the level of commercial and sensitive data exchanged electronically in this modern era, that the U.S. government is only now acting on recommendations to improve cyber security. Governments should ensure the safety of their citizen's data but to date, it seems the U.S. government has been exploiting badly protected networks to snoop on its own citizens.

The Obama cyber security review is a welcome step in the right direction, but the loss of staggering amounts of commercially sensitive data to China can only be addressed by corporations taking equal responsibility when it comes to protecting data. Until cyber security is taken seriously by all those that handle sensitive data electronically, it is hard to see how cyber crime will be reduced.

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Virtual community to improve social care  

Partnership to deliver virtual community to improve social care

From BJHC & IM

A partnership between Tunstall, Fold Housing Association, Housing 21, DigiTV and the University of Sheffield will deliver an innovative research project to develop a VIRTual EXtra care service (VIRTEx) within local communities.

Quicksilva thoughts...

As we all face the challenge of remaining active and healthy as we grow olde, the government faces the challenge of how to deliver and fund a service that caters for an ever aging population without confusing us all with more acronyms!

The Assisted Living Innovation Platform (ALIP) has 9 research projects of which the VIRTEx is one.

A virtual community of local carers seems to be the answer the government is pinning its hopes and our monies on but why just stick to local?

They are clearly not thinking big enough. What we need is a community of virtual carers so that we can be treated wherever we are and whatever we are doing.

If I fall over on the ski slopes I want to have a consultation there and then so bring on the emergency medical hologram, (EMH) and all will be well.

I know it can be done; I have seen the technology working on Star Trek Voyager.

Maybe I am dreaming... maybe it's dementia... either way take me back to the holodeck (HD) where I can live out my fantasy in peace.

Read story

Snow strains technology networks  

Snow strains technology networks

From BBC News

Some of Britain's technology was pushed to its limits this morning [sic], as heavy snow put the brakes on the Monday morning commute.

Quicksilva thoughts...

This story highlights how important the internet has become to our society; when information is required the first port of call for many is the World Wide Web. It is increasingly important for those supplying the information, organisations providing the web sites that people turn to, to ensure that information can be quickly obtained at all times, efficiently handling an increase in demand when required.

With this in mind, when planning online systems it is vital to think about how content can be obtained quickly and easily by the end user and how the importance of information to users changes depending on the situation, in this case in response to the external environment. It should no longer be acceptable to simply tell users that your website is too busy - important information that many people are looking for should still be accessible.

The way we perceive and use the internet continues to change dramatically and those providing the content need to change with it. Use of the internet can no longer be considered an aside to an organisation’s main business functions, instead it must be embraced and recognised as the main point of contact many customers have with your business.

The technology exists to provide a friendly, usable online service for customers and potential customers; it just requires the knowledge, and often the imagination, to put it to good use.

Read story

Caption Competition

Quicksilva Caption Competition 11

How to enter

Email captions to captions@qxlva.com

 

Deadline: 26th March 2009.

We will include our favourite(s) in next month's newsletter!

 

Our favourite from last month

Last month's Caption Competition
Matt suspected there was a nude sunbather in the distance of a picture he'd taken.
There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home. - Ken Olson, president, chairman and founder of Digital Equipment Corp., 1977
Quicksilva

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